Jesus Saves His Enemy

Bible Base – Acts 9:1-22

Imagine this guy as your ballet teacher

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He’d be terrible!!

Or this guy running a nursery

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Terrifying!

what about this person as a cage fighter!

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They would all be terrible at those jobs.

Amazingly God uses somebody you would think would be terrible, the last person you would chose, to be His messenger, his witness for Jesus.

Saul was a guy who hated Christians, He would have even thrown Alison in jail, he beat people up, had them put in prison, even killed for believing in Jesus.

He set out to Damascus, breathing murderous threats, but on his way.

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A light from heaven flashed around Him, and Jesus spoke to Him.

“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me”

Saul was totally changed that day, he saw who Jesus was, it changed Him forever.  He became one of the best missionaries for Jesus the world has ever seen.

Jesus saves His enemies, we are all enemies of God, without the light of the gospel shining into our lives we would stay that way.  But God takes murderers and makes them missionaries, God takes enemies and makes them friends because of Jesus.

Jesus does not save Himself

Mark 15:21-41

Jesus does not save Himself, but gives Himself to save us.

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As He dies in the place of sinners we see 3 big things happening that help us understand what Jesus’ death does for us.

First, suddenly it goes dark in the middle of the day!  The sun was blocked out, it was totally dark For 3 hours.

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This was God showing us what was happening to Jesus on the cross, all the punishment of our sin poured out on Jesus, as Jesus was cut off from God in the darkness of sin, he shouted out how it felt.

“My God, My God, why have you left me.”

Second, a curtain in the temple is ripped from top to bottom

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This is God showing us what Jesus has made possible by his death.

in the temple, the place where God’s people had met with Him, there was a special place where God came to meet with His people called the Holy of Holies.

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 Because God is so good and perfect, so just and holy, He can’t let sin be in His presence.  This curtain was there to show that sinful people like us can’t be friends with Him.

So when the curtain ripped..

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The way to God was open, Jesus had taken away our sin so we could be with God, nothing stands in the way.

Third thing, what the soldier said.

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He saw it all happen, He saw how Jesus died, He said.

“Surely this man was the son of God”

a tough soldier, in charge of an execution squad, he’s seen people die on crosses before. He knew this was different.  He put His trust in Jesus, the son of God to save Him.

Jesus can save us, because He did not save Himself.

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Jesus Saves A Sinner

Bible Base – Luke 23: 32-43

Jesus, who only ever did good, kind and brilliant things, has been thrown in prison.

worse than that, the religious leaders and the officials in charge if the city have decided he should be out to death on a cross, the worst punishment. Why?  Because He said he is the son of God., but that’s true!!  Jesus has done nothing wrong.

either side of Jesus were 2 guilty Criminals, only the worst of criminals were put on a cross

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The guys either side of Jesus were guilty, their hearts were in a mess.

one shouted at Jesus, “come on, if you’re a saviour, save yourself, and us!”

the other man said “don’t you fear God, he’s done nothing wrong, we are getting what we deserve, Jesus remember me when you go to your kingdom”

Jesus said something amazing to him, “today you will be with me in heaven”

Jesus did not save Himself on the cross, but gave his life to save sinners, he did the most amazing swap

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Jesus offers his perfection in exchange for our sin.

What a saviour!

remember the guys in church swapping shirts?

At the end of a football game, players often swap shirts, and there’s sometimes a queue for the best players shirt!  you would want the best players shirt, because it’s a bit like having their reputation.  Jesus gives us his reputation, his perfect record in exchange for our sin.

We’ve seen over the last few weeks how Jesus saves all kinds of people, girls, a young man, a woman, a man, they all shared the same problem we all share, a heart in a mess, a life stained by sin.  They all need Jesus.

Jesus saved a sinner on the cross, he can do the same for me.